Thursday, January 31, 2008

Still Under Siege

Here we are, nearing the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, and we finally have a woman running for President. It sounds like women are finally breaking through the ancient barriers. Sounds like...but perhaps not quite yet. This disquieting article from today's Los Angeles Times makes that clear.

One of the nation's few late-term abortion doctors was ordered Wednesday to turn over about 2,000 patient medical records to a Kansas grand jury investigating his practice.

Abortion opponents hope that the records will lead to further criminal charges against Dr. George Tiller, who already is facing 19 misdemeanor counts stemming from late-second and third-trimester abortions at his clinic in Wichita.

Tiller's lawyers say he scrupulously follows the law. They plan to ask the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn a state district court judge's ruling that Tiller begin handing over files as early as today.

"It's an unprecedented encroachment upon a woman's right to privacy," attorney Dan Monnat said.
[Emphasis added]

Dr. Tiller, you will recall, had been charged with multiple felony counts under the prior Kansas Attorney General in a case that wound up with that state's Supreme Court ordering the release of 60 patient's charts to the Grand Jury after all identifying and irrelevant details were redacted by an independent lawyer. That case is still pending.

Now the Kansas Grand Jury wants more blood.

The grand jury investigating possible additional charges against Tiller is demanding the medical records of every patient who sought or obtained an abortion after her 21st week of pregnancy, or midway through the second trimester. The panel wants records dating back to July 1, 2003.

The grand jury also has subpoenaed the names and addresses of Tiller's employees and of physicians who have worked with him.

How's that for rank intimidation by the anti-abortion crusaders, who, by the way, provided the grand jury with photos of pregnant women entering Tiller's office and also posted those pictures online with the faces blurred. Women who have gone to Dr. Tiller during one of the most trying times in their lives are now being forced to relive those times, their privacy (one of the key bases for the Roe v Wade decision 35 years ago) shredded by folks who have supported the bombing of clinics and the shooting of doctors.

"Even thinking about the possibility of anti-choice extremists identifying me has caused my partner and I great distress," one woman wrote.

Still think we've come a long way, baby?

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